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The Cloud on Your Terms: Windows Intune

What is Windows Intune

What in the world is this thing called Windows Intune?

Windows Intune is PC management and security in the cloud:

  • Perform security and management tasks remotely from a web-based console.
  • Help secure PCs from malware and virus threats with endpoint protection.
  • Deploy most updates and line of business applications through the cloud.
  • Greater performance and security with available Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade.

Windows Intune simplifies and helps businesses manage and secure PCs using Windows®cloud services and Windows 7. Windows Intune includes both the cloud service for PC management and security and upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise and future versions of Windows.

With the Windows Intune cloud service, IT staff can remotely perform a number of security and management tasks including manage updates, endpoint protection to help safeguard PCs from malware threats, and inventory management so IT and end-users can remain productive from virtually anywhere-all that's required is an Internet connection. With the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade included in the subscription, customers can get the best Windows experience with Windows 7 Enterprise or standardize on the Windows version of their choice.

Customers also have the option to purchase the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) add-on, a set of seven on-site advanced desktop management tools. MDOP can help further enhance security and control and help you resolve critical issues that could not be addressed by the cloud service, such as diagnosing and recovering unbootable PCs. For more information on the capabilities of the MDOP, please visit www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/mdop.

Windows Intune Case Studies

The Windows Intune cloud service is a single, easy-to-deploy solution to help manage and secure for PCs. A simple Web-based console gives you immediate visibility into what's going on across all your managed PCs so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your PCs virtually anywhere.

Help manage and secure PCs anywhere

  • Protect PCs from malware: Help protect your customers' PCs from the latest threats with centralized endpoint protection. You can even remotely initiate on-demand malware scans, forced restarts, or malware definition updates to take the extra step helping ensure your PCs are well-protected from potential threats.
  • Manage updates: Centrally manage the deployment of updates to Microsoft ® and most third-party software, keeping the applications your workers need current.
  • Distribute software: Deploy Microsoft and most third-party software, through the cloud, to PCs located nearly anywhere.
  • Proactively monitor PCs: Receive alerts on updates, threats, offline PCs and more so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your PCs virtually anywhere.
  • Provide remote assistance: Resolve PC issues, regardless of where you or your users are located, with remote assistance.
  • Track hardware and software inventory: Track hardware and software assets used in your business to efficiently manage your assets and compliance.
  • Manage your licenses: Manage many Microsoft volume license agreements and other license agreements to track how many licenses you've purchased against what you've installed.
  • Increase insight with reporting: Generate and save reports on updates, software, hardware, and licenses. Export data as a comma separated value file and import it directly into Microsoft Excel for further analysis.
  • Set security policies: Centrally manage update, firewall, and endpoint protection policies, even on remote machines outside the corporate network.

Note: For more details on any of these items, please refer to the Windows Intune Product Guide

So, version 2 of Windows Intune just came out, what's new?

The core architecture remains unchanged, and we've added a few of the top feature requests from users. We've also made usability improvements to the service to deliver a richer experience and help you proactively address the PC management and security needs of your business. These updates include:

  • Software Distribution: Deploy many Microsoft, third-party, and your company's own business applications and updates to Windows Intune managed PCs, as noted in Software Distribution section below.
  • Remote Tasks: Remotely perform the following tasks on Windows Intune managed PCs from the administration console: Full scan, Quick scan, Update Malware Definition, and Restart.
  • Robust license management: Manage your Microsoft Retail Licenses, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Licenses for Microsoft software, and third-party software licenses in addition to many Microsoft Volume License agreements. With 15 years of experience hosting some of the world's largest cloud services, such as Hotmail and Windows Update, Microsoft provides the reliability, availability, and security customers expect for their business: highly-secure, high-availability server architecture, 24x7 support, and a financially-backed 99.9% scheduled uptime SLA.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Create hardware reports based on new hardware filters for common hardware characteristics. Additionally, you can now create and save report parameters to make it easy and efficient to run a report again in the future.
  • Alerts + Monitoring: Configure alert types to be reported according to a specified threshold, frequency, or percent of computers affected.
  • Numerous usability and user interface enhancements: We continue to improve the design and usability based on user feedback. You will find updates like read-only access and new context menus, copy and paste, drag and drop, search, filter, and improved organization capabilities throughout the product.

More Stories By John Weston

John Weston is a Cloud IT Pro Evangelist for Microsoft.http://aka.ms/syscntr During the last ten years he has spoken to thousands of IT Professionals across the country. Before joining Microsoft full time, he spent six years as an MCT, training people at a local college and getting new Microsoft hires up to speed. He holds more certifications than he can remember, but the list definitely includes MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, MCT, and CCNA. Before becoming and MCT, Weston co-owned a software development and consulting firm that was a Microsoft Partner based in Dallas. His primary blog includes http://blogs.technet.com/b/jweston.

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